How To Boost Your Employees’ Productivity
September 15, 2016
If you are a small to medium-sized business with 10 to 50 employees, you are probably interested in affordable and effective methods to boost employee productivity to further grow your business. According to Forbes.com, there are eight easy and inexpensive business management practices you can employ to increase employee production and help your business flourish.
1. Create a more beneficial economic incentive plan
Create economic incentives in a way that employees at all levels of your business can benefit from them. Don’t just focus on senior-level economic incentives, which is what most business managers are more naturally inclined to give out. It’s important not to neglect substantial economic incentives for lower-level employees. Giving out substantial and attractive economic incentives to all employees, regardless of their level or position in the company hierarchy, is crucial for ensuring that your employees are strongly motivated and vigorously dedicated to performing well at their jobs and helping your company grow and succeed. But don’t worry that these economic incentives, whether two week’s paid vacation or an excellent health insurance plan, will cost you more money than you, as a small or medium-sized business owner, have to spare. If a general economic incentives program is structured and designed carefully enough, then additional payouts will reflect a clearly defined revenue as well as earnings targets, while also of course benefiting all of your employees and, therefore, your business growth and success.
2. Provide constructive feedback
Regularly provide constructive and meaningful feedback. Feedback is one of many foundational management skills that are required for business managers to be competent and successful at what they do. The ability to provide regular and helpful feedback to all employees in a manner that is encouraging and constructive, instead of discouraging or negatively critical, is rightfully considered a pillar of effective and successful business management. Whether it is positive encouragement for a job well done, or acknowledging where an employee can improve in their job performance, so long as the communication of the feedback is done thoughtfully and constructively, then employees will become more productive at their job performance, therefore better helping your business’s growth, development, and overall success.
3. Be Respectful
You should always respect employees as individual human beings. Never view or treat your employees as if they are automatons whose whole existence revolves around their job at your company. Your employees are human beings who have emotions and lives outside of their jobs. Giving them respect is a simple yet powerful motivator. If employees feel as if they are not getting enough respect at their job, then they will not feel motivated to perform well at that job or they will find respect in another job elsewhere. However, if employees feel as if they are being respected, or just treated well in general, then they are much more likely to put in the extra effort to help the company they are working for grow and succeed.
4. Be supportive
To go back to the third point, you should always provide support for your employees when it is genuinely needed. Again, your employees are human beings who have emotions and lives outside of working for your company. Sometimes they will have things going on in their personal lives that will affect how they perform or how productive they are at their jobs, and valued support from their business managers and leaders can go a long way in making sure that whatever is going on in their personal lives will not have such a negative effect on how productive they are at work. Valued support from business managers and leaders to their employees can take many forms, such as emotional support in response to unfair criticism or personal troubles (such as a death in the family), flexible support for a reasonable level of work-life balance, or even providing new equipment when existing equipment is outdated or inefficient. Adequate and genuine support from management during times of trouble and need will always be remembered by employees, and it will build goodwill and loyalty in employees, which will in turn boost employee productivity levels.
5. Don’t be too negative
With this in mind, you should also never be emotionally stingy towards your employees. Business managers and leaders will gain nothing by withholding praise, recognition of employee accomplishments, or other examples of positive encouragement when such gestures are warranted. Recent studies of employee productivity and satisfaction have shown that recognition is surprisingly and more often than not a more powerful motivator than economic incentives like pay bonuses. This is especially true for employees who work for small or medium-sized businesses, where employee accomplishments can be more easily noticed, and where there are less people on senior levels of management where financial rewards have escalated. Emotional stinginess will not promote employee productivity on general levels of employee position, where the broadest gains can be achieved, whereas emotional praise, support, and other forms of positivity will go a very long way in boosting employee productivity.
6. Provide adequate training
Make sure that employees at all levels of your company are receiving adequate training. Corporate management are also naturally inclined to focus more on leadership training for higher levels of management but not enough on training for those who work on the lower levels. All employees should receive some kind of training when they are hired, as well as more opportunities for the development and growth of their skills, so that their productivity levels will be high.
7. Be a model leader
Ensuring that you as the business manager or leader are the embodiment of senior leadership model behavior will make the rank-and-file employees proud to be a part of your team, and this pride will promote high levels of employee productivity. One surefire way to demoralize employees and therefore damage their productivity levels, and the overall growth and success of your business as a result, is to act in a way that senior leaders should not act, or in a way that employees will find hard or even impossible to respect. But by being an excellent example of senior leadership behavior, employees will admire you and therefore be energized to be the best they can be when it comes to working for your company, and this includes being more productive. Business leaders and managers are always being watched by their employees, which means they are always being judged and must therefore be an example of perfect model behavior as their main figures of authority in the workplace.
Another method you can try is outsourcing. For example, it is cheaper and better to have an outsourced IT group working for you. Having an outsourced IT group is more cost effective for small to medium-sized businesses, as well as being effective in boosting employee productivity levels, because contracting workers from outside the company or abroad will cost less than having an IT team from within the corporate structure. They will not be eligible for many of the company’s employee benefits and they can be hired to work for a certain period of time rather than for an indefinite, long term period of time. Therefore, outsourcing an IT team will be a more cost effective alternative to internally sourcing an IT team, where computer program usage will still be monitored and employees will still receive top-notch technical support and assistance without sacrificing employee productivity levels.
Employee engagement matters when it comes to boosting employee productivity, especially for small or medium-sized businesses where growth and development are crucial for that business’s success. Ultimately, many employees would rather be a part of a team that they are committed to and care about, instead of just a nameless member of an organization, where commitment and care are not encouraged and are therefore lacking. Therefore, nurturing, developing, and maintaining a consistent management approach that promotes employee satisfaction will also promote employee productivity. This kind of management, which is balancing the appropriate and needed levels of results orientation with a genuine understanding of employees’ needs, is not easy but neither is it unattainable nor unaffordable. These are the strategies business managers and leaders of small to medium-sized businesses need to employ and incorporate if they want to see significant improvements in their employees’ daily productivity gains and overall success in business growth and development.
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